desmond tutu Quotes

Desmond Tutu Quotes

Birth Date: 1931-10-07 (Wednesday, October 7th, 1931)

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desmond tutu life timeline

Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Tuesday, October 16th, 1984
South African archbishop Desmond Tutu is arrested along with 100 clergymen during a five-day anti-apartheid demonstration in Cape TownMonday, February 29th, 1988
Largest anti-Apartheid march in South Africa, led by Desmond Tutu.Wednesday, September 13th, 1989

Quotes

    • I am fifty-two years of age. I am a bishop in the Anglican Church, and a few people might be constrained to say that I was reasonably responsible. In the land of my birth I cannot vote, whereas a young person of eighteen can vote. And why? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute - a white skin.
    • Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.
    • I am a leader by default, only because nature does not allow a vacuum.
    • For goodness sake, will they hear, will white people hear what we are trying to say? Please, all we are asking you to do is to recognize that we are humans, too.
    • When a pile of cups is tottering on the edge of the table and you warn that they will crash to the ground, in South Africa you are blamed when that happens.
    • I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.
    • Those who invest in South Africa should not think they are doing us a favor; they are here for what they get out of our cheap and abundant labor, and they should know that they are buttressing one of the most vicious systems.
    • A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.
    • You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
    • God has such a deep reverence for our freedom that he'd rather let us freely go to Hell than be compelled to go to Heaven.
    • If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
    • When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.
    • We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low.
    • I give great thanks to God that he has created a Dalai Lama. Do you really think, as some have argued, that God will be saying: 'You know, that guy, the Dalai Lama, is not bad. What a pity he's not a Christian'? I don't think that is the case - because, you see, God is not a Christian.
    • He has a childlike, boyish, impish, mischievousness. And I have to try and make him behave properly, like a holy man!
    • We used to say to the apartheid government: you may have the guns, you may have all this power, but you have already lost. Come: join the winning side. His Holiness and the Tibetan people are on the winning side.
    • I don't preach a social gospel; I preach the Gospel, period. The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the whole person. When people were hungry, Jesus didn't say, 'Now is that political or social?' He said, 'I feed you.' Because the good news to a hungry person is bread.
    • Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us.
    • If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God.
    • Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.
    • Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
    • My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
    • Niger is not an isolated island of desperation. It lies within a sea of problems across Africa - particularly the 'forgotten emergencies' in poor countries or regions with little strategic or material appeal.
    • What is black empowerment when it seems to benefit not the vast majority but an elite that tends to be recycled?
    • Without forgiveness, there's no future.
    • You must show the world that you abhor fighting.
    • History, like beauty, depends largely on the beholder, so when you read that, for example, David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls, you might be forgiven for thinking that there was nobody around the Falls until Livingstone arrived on the scene.
    • Freedom and liberty lose out by default because good people are not vigilant.
    • We who advocate peace are becoming an irrelevance when we speak peace. The government speaks rubber bullets, live bullets, tear gas, police dogs, detention, and death.
    • At home in South Africa I have sometimes said in big meetings where you have black and white together: 'Raise your hands!' Then I have said: 'Move your hands,' and I've said 'Look at your hands - different colors representing different people. You are the Rainbow People of God.'
    • It was relatively easy, we now realize, to categorize countries and nations. You knew who your enemies were and whom you could count on as collaborators and friends. And even more importantly, you had ready-made scapegoats to take the blame when things were going wrong.
    • There are different kinds of justice. Retributive justice is largely Western. The African understanding is far more restorative - not so much to punish as to redress or restore a balance that has been knocked askew.
    • Resentment and anger are bad for your blood pressure and your digestion.
    • Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship between individuals or within and between nations.
    • South Africa, so utterly improbably, is a beacon of hope in a dark and troubled world.
    • I long and work for a South Africa that is more open and more just; Where people count and where they have equal access to the good things of life; With equal opportunity to live, work and learn.
    • What has happened to us? It seems as if we have perverted our freedom, our rights into license, into being irresponsible. Perhaps we did not realise just how apartheid has damaged us so that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong.
    • We refuse to be treated as the doormat for the government to wipe its jackboots on.
    • Fundamental rights belong to the human being just because you are a human being.
    • I will never tell anyone to pick up a gun. But I will pray for the man who picks up a gun, pray that he will be less cruel than he might otherwise have been....
    • The reprisal against the suicide bomber does not bring peace. There is a suicide bomber, a reprisal and then a counter-reprisal. And it just goes on and on.
    • Reconciliation is a long process. We don't have the kind of race clashes that we thought would happen. What we have is xenophobia, and it's very distressing. But maybe you ought to be lenient with us. We've been free for just 12 years.
    • Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language... It is to say, 'My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours'.
    • 'Isn't it sad, that in a time when we face so many devastating problems - poverty, HIV/AIDS, war and conflict - that in our Communion we should be investing so much time and energy on disagreement about sexual orientation?' [The Communion, which] 'used to be known for embodying the attribute of comprehensiveness, of inclusiveness, where we were meant to accommodate all and diverse views, saying we may differ in our theology but we belong together as sisters and brothers' now seems 'hell-bent on excommunicating one another. God must look on and God must weep.'[1]
    • In our struggle against apartheid, the great supporters were Jewish people. They almost instinctively had to be on the side of the disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones, fighting injustice, oppression and evil. I have continued to feel strongly with the Jews. I am patron of a Holocaust centre in South Africa. I believe Israel has a right to secure borders. What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I've been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.
    • Israel will never get true security and safety through oppressing another people. A true peace can ultimately be built only on justice. We condemn the violence of suicide bombers, and we condemn the corruption of young minds taught hatred; but we also condemn the violence of military incursions in the occupied lands, and the inhumanity that won't let ambulances reach the injured.
    • We in South Africa had a relatively peaceful transition. If our madness could end as it did, it must be possible to do the same everywhere else in the world. If peace could come to South Africa, surely it can come to the Holy Land.
    • People are scared in this country, to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful - very powerful. Well, so what? For goodness sake, this is God's world! We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosevic, and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end they bit the dust.
    • Injustice and oppression will never prevail. Those who are powerful have to remember the litmus test that God gives to the powerful: what is your treatment of the poor, the hungry, the voiceless? And on the basis of that, God passes judgment. We should put out a clarion call to the government of the people of Israel, to the Palestinian people and say: peace is possible, peace based on justice is possible. We will do all we can to assist you to achieve this peace, because it is God's dream, and you will be able to live amicably together as sisters and brothers.
    • The U.N. is as effective as its member states allow it to be.
    • The British lower second-class honours undergraduate degree, a '2:2' (pronounced 'two-two'), is colloquially known as a 'Desmond' in his honour - see British undergraduate degree classification.
    • The pub at King's College London is known as Tutu's in his honour.
    • In 1986, Miles Davis released a jazz album called Tutu in honour of Archbishop Tutu.
    • In 1988, Enja Records founded a minor jazz label called Tutu Records.[2]
    • The music video for Michael Jackson's number-one hit Man in the Mirror (1988) features Tutu in the section focusing on hope and peace.
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